In case you’re feeling nostalgic about opening fire on a battlefield from a heavily-armed military helicopter, an arena in Las Vegas will now let you pay them the totally reasonable price of just $689 to play machine gunner in a battle-ready helo, complete with 360 degrees of pure desert sand.
The company, helpfully called Machine Gun Helicopters, is attempting to recreate an authentic military door gunner experience by taking customers up in a modified Eurocopter AS350 B2 A-Star helicopter and letting them fire off 100 rounds from a fixed M249 (SAW) belt fed machine gun or an M60 belt fed machine gun.
Photo via Machine Gun Helicopters
“Once in the helicopter customers will experience two gun runs on our purpose built aerial gun range under the direction and control of our helicopter range masters,” the site reads.
In order to attend, you must be at least 18 or 15-17 with a guardian’s consent, you can’t be drunk, and you definitely can’t be pregnant. Sounds reasonable to us.
Photo via Machine Gun Helicopters
So if you’re in Vegas and you have roughly $700 to throw away, give it a shot. It sounds better than wasting your hard-earned cash trying to play the slots.
Every once in a while, we run across a photo in The Times-Picayune archives that's so striking that it begs a simple question: "What in the name of Momus Alexander Morgus is going on in this New Orleans photograph?" When we do, we've decided, we're going to share it — and to attempt to answer that question.
Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces control the monitor of their drone at their advanced position, during the fighting with Islamic State's fighters in Nazlat Shahada, a district of Raqqa. (Reuters/Zohra Bensemra)
MUSCAT (Reuters) - The United States should keep arming and aiding the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) following the planned U.S. withdrawal from Syria, provided the group keeps up the pressure on Islamic State, a senior U.S. general told Reuters on Friday.
Long before Tony Stark took a load of shrapnel to the chest in a distant war zone, science fiction legend Robert Heinlein gave America the most visceral description of powered armor for the warfighter of the future. Forget the spines of extra-lethal weaponry, the heads-up display, and even the augmented strength of an Iron Man suit — the real genius, Heinlein wrote in Starship Troopers, "is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it, like your clothes, like skin."
"Any sort of ship you have to learn to pilot; it takes a long time, a new full set of reflexes, a different and artificial way of thinking," explains Johnny Rico. "Spaceships are for acrobats who are also mathematicians. But a suit, you just wear."
First introduced in 2013, U.S. Special Operations Command's Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) purported to offer this capability as America's first stab at militarized powered armor. And while SOCOM initially promised a veritable Iron Man-style tactical armor by 2018, a Navy spokesman told Task & Purpose the much-hyped exoskeleton will likely never get off the launch pad.
"The prototype itself is not currently suitable for operation in a close combat environment," SOCOM spokesman Navy Lt. Phillip Chitty told Task & Purpose, adding that JATF-TALOS has no plans for an external demonstration this year. "There is still no intent to field the TALOS Mk 5 combat suit prototype."